Female positions in art have always been highly contradicting. While just a handful of women earned recognition as artists, female portraits depicting faultless beauty were highly popular among aristocrats and the upper class.
“Frauenbilder. Vom Biedermeier bis zur frühen Moderne” (Female Images. From Biedermeier to early Modernism) is now on display at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Consisting solely of paintings from the Leopold Collection, the exhibition demonstrates how women were regarded by artists and men in general for a long time: as gorgeous ladies showing off their jewellery – or caring mothers and hard-working peasants.
It took a long time for artists like Käthe Kollwitz and Marie Egner to find acclaim. Their paintings are on display alongside works of art by outstanding Austrian painters like Koloman Moser, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller and Anton Romako.